As a social media and marketing consultant, I happen to meet all sorts of customers ranging from SOHOs (Small Office/Home Office), small businesses, aspiring startups to multinational corporations having a global footprint. What’s the common factor between them? Social Media.
The beauty of social media lies in its ubiquity. While I’m not saying that social media is a “one size fits all” solution for all businesses, the large number of social media variants implies that there’s a suitable solution for most kind of businesses.
Daryl Willcox Publishing Social Media Survey
The Willcox Publishing Social Media Survey involved 269 companies and the survey results are a testimony to the growing popularity of social media amongst small businesses and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). The survey results indicate
- More than half (54%) use social media
- 35% of the respondents post updates everyday to platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
- 25% of the respondents post updates every few days
- 17% of the respondents post updates on a weekly basis
LinkedIn (73%) is the most popular social media channel followed by Facebook (64%) and Twitter (63%).
Interestingly, the businesses which do not use social media to reach out to customers have all sorts of weird reasoning including
- Lack of time (35%)
- Our customers don’t use it, so why should we bother about it (31%)
- It’s too complicated (24%)
LinkedIn – A world of business opportunities
LinkedIn is world’s largest professional network and it continues to grow at an astonishing pace. It offers unmatched opportunities for small businesses and SMEs for recruitment, sales and marketing needs.
I’m aware of several small business success stories which have benefited from the wide reach of LinkedIn. Whether it’s creating new retail channels or looking for marketing partners, I find LinkedIn a very handy source of valuable professional information.
Twitter and Facebook are good for business
When it comes to outreach marketing, it doesn’t get any better than Twitter and Facebook. Once you’ve defined your target audience, both these tools provide an efficient mechanism to keep your customers engaged.
In fact, it’s remarkable that a significant number of businesses are now using Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. This is an astonishing achievement for both these sites which started off as a way for people to keep in touch with friends and family.
Social Media is the primary marketing strategy
Gone are the days when businesses restricted themselves to only traditional marketing models. It’s all about innovation these days and social media has taken the world of marketing by storm with its new-age modern methods.
While most businesses prefer to use social media for marketing purpose, an increasing number are now beginning to adopt it as a means of customer service and a channel for brand awareness.
It is no mean achievement comparably that the proportion of SMEs using social media has doubled since Daryl Willcox Publishing, which helps small businesses raise their profile in the media, last conducted same research into SME use of social media in December last year.